Webinar Reflects on Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks! Program Accomplishments on July 20

July 5, 2016

AMES, Iowa — Building A Culture of Conservation is the theme for the Iowa Learning Farms’ monthly webinar on Wednesday, July 20th at 1 p.m. Dr. Jacqueline Comito and Ann Staudt will showcase some significant ways that the Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) and Water Rocks! programs have been educating Iowans of all ages about water quality and conservation issues over the past year.  

As program director, Comito will emphasize the importance of the farmer-to-farmer interactions at ILF field days and workshops. The team has developed a multi-tiered approach to evaluation as a feedback mechanism to improve the effectiveness of their outreach. Through the framework of a “Field Day Success Loop,” Comito will discuss the relationship between attending field days, adopting conservation practices and networking and influencing other farmers. Comito will call attention to a new ILF publication, the Field Day Toolkit.  

The second part of the webinar will draw attention to Water Rocks!, the youth outreach program. As science director, Staudt will highlight their interactive and engaging approach to water quality, soil health and conservation outreach that combines STEM with the arts, especially music. She will share stories from outreach events and the recent Teacher Summits and preview new programming for the fall.  

The Iowa Learning Farms webinars are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. They are free, and all that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access. To log in, go to: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/ at 1 p.m.on the afternoon of the webinar and log in through the “guest” option.Webinar participants will be able to converse with Comito and Staudt by typing their questions through the chat function. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the Iowa Learning Farms website for viewing at any time at: http://www.iowalearningfarms.org/Webinars/.  

ILF has hosted a webinar every month since January 2011. To date, there are 66 webinars to view on a wide range of topics including soil erosion, water quality, cover crops, buffers, and farmer perspectives.  

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA Section 319), Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: www.iowalearningfarms.org.